Don't leave your dog in the car or out of the car.
Add to this a dog who terrorizes the general public who walk near or even in the vicinity of their car. Honestly!!!!!!!!! Last week I had to run into Trader Joe's to pick up the few things I'd forgotten the day before. As I headed towards the front of the store I was startled by the sound of a very unhappy LARGE dog. Looking around I could see that a lot of people were staring at one particular car and cringing. A huge black German Shepherd had it's head out the window; well past it's shoulders and was menacingly barking at anyone who dared to walk by his car.
Really? Why on earth would you bring this dog to sit in the parking lot? First off it is not considerate to those around and second it obviously puts the dog in a high state of stress. It simply makes no sense in any way shape or form. The dog was still there when I came out of the store and was continuing to threaten the human population in the parking lot. Just what everyone needed as they hurried to get everything for the holidays.
Several weeks ago Elsa and I were walking along a strip mall that we frequent. She always has someone stop to admire and talk to her so she loves walking there. We had just gotten out of our SUV and were making our way across the parking lot when a huge brown Labrador nearly dove out of it's car window to threaten us. Normally I try my best to stay calm and cool but this guy was too much and too sudden; he scared the sh&t out of both Elsa and I. I hadn't seen him before hand and the tone and threat level in his voice was intense.
I tried to compose myself and shake it off while Elsa snorted her stress snort. Picking up our pace to get distance between us and the menace dog quickly, I listened. The car was parked right outside a grooming shop and every person with or without a dog received the full blown threat. Everyone was stopping and staring; it was very scary as the dog was hanging out the window far enough so that if he really tried he could have jumped out. People made a huge circle around the car trying to avoid it.
I was fuming mad. Honestly, who brings their dog like this to sit in the parking lot and terrorize everyone? Even as we were far away from the dog in the car I could hear it. It continued and anyone who hadn't got the "mean dog in the car" memo were startled badly.
As Elsa and I made our way back to the car I made a point to make a huge arch so that the menace would not see us. It worked but as we climbed into the car he started on someone else innocently walking by.
If your dog is like these dogs left to threaten everyone around, LEAVE IT AT HOME. Bringing dogs like this does not help them get over their car guarding issue; it does however, further fuel the problem. Many dogs who act like this when anyone comes around or anywhere near what they think their property lines run believe that all their hard threatening, works. They bluster, growl, spit, show teeth and snarl and the people go away. They do not know that they are going away anyway; they think it was what they did. Basically a job well done. So they do more.
A dog in this state is highly stressed and extremely dangerous. Had either one of these dogs gotten out I don't know what would have happened. What if an innocent child was in a cart walking by as the dog dove it's half body out the window. This is also a huge liability for the owner.
Aside from being dangerous and putting a stressed dog into a more stressful environment; it's just plain stupid and inconsiderate. Just because you are use to this behavior is no reason to subject others to it. Keep your dog at home until you have time to help your dog to deal with these issues. To do that you must be present.
No dog wants to sit in the car while you shop. Anything can happen when you are not present. Why put them in that position? Leave them at home where they are safe and sound.